Thursday, April 29, 2010

Purpose the Paper

You may be living in a similar situation as Landon and I:

Most of the things that make up our home have been generously given to us as gifts or hand-me downs. We haven't really purchased much of anything for our home. I especially have not purchased home decor, because we are always moving and to buy pretty things for the sake of them being pretty is quite a luxury, and honestly not really a priority for us. 

Sometimes I find myself enjoying the function of something but really not liking the style. 

At this house, I took some of my favorite crafting papers with browns and lime greens and went to town with the mod podge to try to repurpose some things, and actually try to tie my kitchen together a bit with a color scheme (have never done this before!). 

I received 10 of these magnolia coasters from my grandmother in 2004. Although they are a very thoughtful gift for a newly married couple, they really remained so not me. I always thought of getting rid of them, but in reality, we needed them and it was dumb to get rid of something that you need just because it isn't cute. So I covered them.
They turned out well, except if there is a hot drink on the coaster, then it gets stuck to the coaster because the mod podge adheres to the cup. didn't think through that one too well, eh? but i like them much better and don't mind them sitting around the wooden surfaces of the house because they are so cute and so much more my style!

I used the same paper and to cover some of our kitchen accessories to tie everything together.

 I covered my recipe box with the lime green.

 I covered a cardboard tomato box and we use it to store our teas on top of our microwave. 
it's cute, really.

then i took out all the pictures in our "wedding shrine" (as landon calls it). I have this little collage of frames that were holding 7 black and white pictures from our wedding day. I understand that after 5 years of marriage, one might rather have something else framed. I asked Landon to take some black and white pictures of trees....but that isn't happening any time soon. So, I plopped the paper in these frames. With their being on the wall across from the kitchen that goes into the living room, i feel like it really ties the rooms together. 

I thought that this was a very fun way to make my things mine. and a easy and cheap quick temporary fix to an area that really had lacked cohesion in color. .

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Wow, between Facebook messages, phone calls, and Blog comments, I feel so celebrated! Thanks friends, for participating in my birthday and making me feel not so very far away from you that I dearly love.

Despite being deep into final papers, Landon spent the whole evening celebrating my birthday with me. We went out to a yummy Mexican restaurant in Ogden. We haven't been able to find good Mexican out here. I even have to call ahead now to make sure that the restaurant has a liquor license if I'm thinking I want imported beer or a margarita (which of course I did last night - it was my birthday, after all!) I found myself so surprised at the last Mexican restaurant we went to out here when I asked for a list of their drinks and she told me which coke products they carry. I was bummed.

But this place was awesome.

Landon also put hours into a beautiful carrot cake for me! I wanted a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, and this man delivered!
I received a very cute giant cupcake cake pan from Kristen for my birthday. Isn't it adorable?

Well, although I am now officially in my "late-twenties", I'm a pretty happy girl and feel dearly loved by those I love most. What could be better?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

27 years ago I was born

Wow. That's amazing.  Being in my late 20's feels different than I thought it would, but I rather like it. I don't really feel much older than 20 (or wiser!). I thought I would be a mom by now, surely, especially since I married the amazing Mr. McBrayer when I was 21 (can you believe my mother is 21 in the picture above?). I thought I would be deep into my dream career (whatever that is) and bringing cupcakes to MOPS meetings and teaching 3rd grade Sunday school. But we are on a different adventure.

I am so grateful that I get to celebrate this birthday below the mountains. There are no words, really, for the joy and the peace that they bring to my life. Landon is deep in the midst of final papers, but we plan on going into the mountains  when he is finished to celebrate the b-day and his completing his first year of his PhD.

Last night Landon spent hours on a cake for me. I am excited to eat it up. I will  post pictures tomorrow.

I received cards from family and friends in the mail over the last few days (THANK YOU!!!) and last night as i was reading them i started to cry. Almost every one mentioned "wish you weren't so far away", and that makes me sad. It was such an amazing adventure to leave home five years ago. Now it is sort of painful to still always be away.

Let's see.... I'm trying to remember being born. Of course, I can't remember that. My earliest memory, though..... well, i have two and i'm not sure which one came first.

I remember sitting in a high chair at a restaurant with my parents and my dad's parents. I remember playing a game where i would drop something on the ground and my grandpa would pick it up. i remember thinking it was hilarious. And I also remember them laughing at me because they kept giving me lemons. I remember liking the attention. I remember loving my Grandpa. And for some reason this memory is so clear in my mind. I think this must be my first memory.

My second early memory which must be a little later, but maybe isn't, is watching my mother bathe my little sister in the kitchen sink. I was jealous for attention (what's new?) and was also confused as to why Janelle was getting a bath in the sink. Why didn't I get a bath in the sink?

Well, thanks for being in my life, dear loved ones. My greatest joy and blessing has always been the people that I love. Thank you for making these 27 years unforgettable!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mormon Fashion

Just in time for Spring, Mormon fashion is rubbing off on me.

Last Wednesday I had a crafting night with a good friend of mine from my Colorado childhood. Kristen and I go way back. She's been in Utah since we graduated CHS in 01. Kristen comes from a large LDS family with a really awesome Mormon heritage, actually (which she has never said, only I have seen pictures of her ancestors as a founding family in our town hall - her family have been faithful Mormons for a long time. Pretty neat heritage).

Kristen is also a fashionista. Her style is very classic and cute with a strong edge of creativity! I'm not sure I've ever seen her sporting this fashion, but ever since the temps got above freezing, i have found myself exploring this world of modesty and comfort. And I feel okay sharing this because when I mentioned it to her on Wednesday she cracked up and verified my observation.

I'm not sure what the fashion world would say about this, but out here in Utah, this trend is very cute and acceptable and catching on to non-Mormons like me!

Wearing a shirt under or over the strapless and spaghetti-strap tops

I even wore a spaghetti strap shirt over a long sleeve t-shirt during the winter and it made me feel like my wardrobe was doubled - summer shirts are no longer only for the summer! 

(not me and no photo credits on this post - sorry)

Don't die, but I have definitely worn a white t-shirt under a strapless dress. I have two dresses that are a bit too big for me and they are so cute and I don't wear them because they're a little too immodest since they don't hug me quite close enough. I love wearing a t-shirt under these strapless dresses. It's great not to be tugging on them all the time, and worrying that they're not where they should be.
I didn't ask Kris, so i'm not sure exactly the reason that this is such an acceptable fashion trend out here. I know that Mormons strive to dress modestly. We evangelicals do this also. But they also wear holy undergarments that actually have tiny sleeves/thick straps, so if they are wearing these all of the time, their clothing needs to cover them up, so no strapless dresses or spaghetti tops. But, of course, I don't know too much about these as they are another aspect of the LDS faith that is too secret  sacred to share with the non-Mormons in the neighborhood.

Kristen made sure to let me know that these items can still be worn very classy with cardigans over them (Janelle, aren't you glad I included this - I'm sure it's what you have been thinking this whole time!). Ha! That does sound much more classy, but I do really like the t-shirt idea. It's casual and comfy!

What do you think?

Friday, April 23, 2010

A little Friday treat:

I've never recorded a video of myself  playing piano before.  But I needed to send something to that church that I'm applying to, so I made myself subject to the techie advice of a few 13 year old boys and somehow got my skype camera to take a video of me and even upload it onto Landon's youtube channel. So it's not great quality, but it was sufficient in giving the pastor of the wonderful church an idea of my playing/singing capabilities.

He has asked me to come down to his church and lead worship some week in May as part of my application process for this worship position. I am excited. I love worshiping with new people - it's amazing - the unity in the body of Christ in worship.

So for those of you, dear friends and family that have not really heard me sing, this is for you. Though I share it sort of reluctantly, I have been encouraged as Landon blasted video of me on his facebook and his friends actually liked it. I felt bad for not sharing a video with my friends too. So, sorry for feeling self-conscious in front of you - you are always such a great support!

Enjoy, lovelies.

Spring, you are invited to the McBrayer household

This last weekend I swept the winter out of my house.

I put away our basket of winter woolens that we kept by the front door filled with different gloves, scarves and hats, easily accessible for every time we leave the house.

I stripped our bed of its flannel moose sheets and replaced them with the sateen sheets from the bottom of the closet.

We opened all of the windows in the house to let the fresh air in.

I pruned the roses and some bushes and mowed the lawn.

I gave Duvick a bath and brushed him well. He's shedding out of his thick winter coat.

Landon turned off the pilot light that fuels the heater in the house.

And this is the first week in many months where i didn't cook stews or soups for dinner. Instead, we cooked on the grill. I even did a deep clean of our back-yard table and chairs and Landon plopped the umbrella over it.

We hung our swing off of the deck where I am able to read barefoot in the sunshine- how wonderful.

Spring is here!!!!


Or so we thought.

This is the second morning that we have awoke to a fffffffreeeeezing house. I'm definitely missing the flannel sheets and circulated heat that had filled our winter months and kept us cozy. I'm finding myself drinking extra coffee and tea just to keep warm around here.

The last two morning have been filled with rain and hail and snow, but altogether gray.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wear-Weary Wardrobe

I have have some items in my closet that i love. So much, in fact, that I wear them all of the time. Every week, even. 

For instance, this Patagonia capalene shirt. Which has also shrunk over the years of use, use, and misuse: 
Alaska 2005

Hawaii 2007

Utah 2010

Mom and Landon have been trying to convince me to throw this one away for years. I like it. I found it at a garage sale in my Grandmother's neighborhood in 2000. It may actually be my favorite shirt ever.
Living on my own for the first time, 2003

Kenya 2006

Home for Christmas, CO, 2010

I have another that is in great danger of becoming one of these over-used but not under-appreciated staples:

This great gray j.crew cardigan
CO reunion with friends, 2009

Which was meant to replace 
This great gray j.crew cardigan
Meeting the McBrayers, GA, 2004

(the cardigan died after wearing holes into the elbows. i reluctantly parted with it after somehow being convinced that there was another gray cardigan equally as wonderful out in the world somewhere. of which i've never found. but the one above is a very satisfying replacement). 

You can tell how adventurous I am in fashion. See, my style (and my closet) has stayed the same these last 10 years. But how can I part with these? You see the memories involved in each, don't you?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I have come that they may have
and have it to the full
(John 10:10)

Yesterday marked many important anniversaries for many people: The Oklahoma City Bombing, Hitler's Birthday, the Columbine Shooting, 420, etc... 

And many of those remind us of much destruction and loss of life. And yet, yesterday as I remembered that which has been so destructive in my life, I couldn't help but become so aware of the life around me.

The trees are leafing. These pictures come from two trees in the front of our house. They are magnificent in their pink blooms. It's just amazing. 

The daffodils and tulips are abloom, a striking contrast to the bright green lawns that cover the landscape of the Wasatch front. 

It's incredible how life can be suddenly bursting from the seams after such a long period of dormancy, where all these beautiful things were not even a thought in our minds. We just saw the gray; the appearance of death. And now within a few weeks, the earth here is covered in life again, as if we never experienced these last 6 months of winter.

And I think that there are periods of our lives that are much like this. I was thinking of the darkness that I had once lived in, that gray, bleak world. And from it, Christ has brought me life. I am a new creation in Christ. Yesterday I was reminded of this, as I reflected on times of darkness in the lives of those I love, darkness in the history of our country, darkness in the history of the world. But see, even out of these atrocities, life is bursting from the seams! What an amazing promise we have in Jesus!

Yesterday my nephew was born: Graham Charles Parnell. And I am so grateful for him. What a beautiful reminder of life!

(Can you tell me what kind of trees these are? I really love them)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I know that today is the anniversary of the shooting at Columbine. I tried to decide if I was going to write about it today.'s a beautiful day here in Utah. And though my heart is swelling in remembrance of many beautiful friends and many beautiful lives lost, I am not really inspired to write about it. I don't really feel like it. However, if you came to my blog today to read about Columbine, just type Columbine into the search box on the right. Or see what I wrote last year.

Spring Skiing

Sunday we went skiing.

I should have worn a tank top

It was beautiful.
 and fun. 
and kind of amazing to be skiing through the trees and feel so very warm.

Duvick had fun. 
and finally got some exercise.

And was hot enough that he went swimming in some beaver ponds.

I love family time with my boys.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Weekend Craft

Friends, remember this tutorial by Sew Much Ado that I included in a post about the Thrifty Home last month?

Welp, I put it together at my house this weekend. I just happened to have some cute flannel fabric laying around and after muckey-ing up my last swifter duster on Saturday morning, I thought I would at least try and see if this would be a good [sustainable = cheap and eco-conscience] alternative. I had my doubts.

The craft itself was a piece of cake! It was probably the easiest thing I've made. No measuring, only a tiny bit of sewing in a straight line, and mostly just cutting. It was so simple and easy and very quick.

After a good wash and dry it came out all scraggly and ready to collect dust. So, even though I dusted all the surfaces on Saturday morning, I couldn't help but dust everything else Saturday night!

And the duster worked great! I think it collected dust even better than the swiffer product. And it was more efficient because this duster is double sided, swiffer's duster is not. AND I'll just toss it in the laundry with all of my cleaning cloths. It's easy. I'm so glad that I don't have to buy any more of those swiffer duster refills and waste the mullah, packaging, not to mention the product itself. 

I'm excited!

Friday, April 16, 2010

A-mAzing Fajitas

This week, i pulled out my all-time favorite cook book, the Sugar Solution Cookbook by Prevention in order to find some healthy recipes for dinner.

We like to make varieties of Mexican dishes around here. They always usually cheap and usually very yummy.

This is the best marinade I have ever tasted for Beef Fajitas. Landon and I were thrilled and made sure to place a bookmark in our cook book. This is a very cheap and easy marinade and only has to sit for 4 hours.

Here's the recipe:

Beef Fajita Marinade 
you can print the recipe from Prevention's website here

(photo by joshbousel)

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  •  2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 lb lean round tip sirloin, trimmed of all visible fat
  • 1/4 t salt

In a resealable plastic bag, combine the oil, garlic, lime juice, lime zest, and cumin. Add the sirloin and toss well to coat. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat the grill or broiler. Remove the sirloin from the marinade, reserving any leftover marinade, and sprinkle with the salt. Grill or broil 4" from the heat for 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 145F for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board and cover loosely with foil.

Cook your fav. fajita fixins and enjoy!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

You inspire the brave in me

now with a little coffee in my system, I can indulge myself into a little bit of blogging.

I'm becoming brave. My husband believes in my more than I do. He encourages me in all of my abilities and in my potential. I'm grateful  for someone who loves me enough to empower me to be brave and pursue all of my desires, even if that means that I adapt our family to some weird eco policies.

Yesterday I applied for a job as a worship leader at a church. Is that crazy or what? The church is small and the job would also include administrative duties. And they wanted someone who would also preach every once in awhile, so i told them how awesome my husband is. That was a pretty brave thing to do, don't you think? I'm realizing that I don't have anything to lose when it comes to this job search.

Yesterday I also started piano lessons. I took lessons in my childhood, but that is getting to be longer and longer ago. I've improved a lot in the last 10 years regarding teaching myself to play with a sheet of lyrics and  chords attached and not just following a written piece of music. But I'm progressing rather slow. So, for my birthday, my parents and parents-in-law got me piano lessons (they don't know it yet, but they will!). I'm so excited at the potential for improving my piano playing skill. This is something I've never considered doing - going back to piano lessons, and it took a little bravery on my part.

It's been so long since I've played piano - only piano, that I couldn't pound out this song yesterday without singing along to it. It was embarrassing. But my teacher is gracious, as well as awesome. He's a professional musician, and a dang good one. Check him out:
I decided not to drink my two cups of coffee this morning, freshly brewed from my kitchen. Instead, I'm going to head on over to Starbucks with my personal mug and let them fill it to the top with some Cafe Estima for FREE! That's right, friends, if you bring your own mug to the 'bucks today they will fill it up for free.

So right now i'm dragging myself around the house on zero (ZERO) coffee powers and am seriously groggy. I will write more later, when i can type without having to go back and delete and re-type for all the fumbled letters and mis-spellings that a lack of coffee inspires.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


(photo by twin rocks trading post, UT)

I love Turquoise. 

My grandmother always wore turquoise. When she died, i inherited some of her jewelry. Mom and Dad put a few of her diamonds in a beautiful white gold ring for me. But, I find myself wearing Grandma's old turquoise instead. It reminds me of her more than her diamonds do. 

She and Grandpa were both school teachers. They raised my Dad and his bro in Boulder, CO and were able to travel all summer long with their sons, always camping. My family always spent a few weeks each summer on road trips in our family van to meet up with them at National Parks. I remember campfire talks, hikes, and pancakes in Grandma's trailer, watching their humming bird feeder. My most special memories of them were in the forest, on the dirt.

A special thing about turquoise is that it can only be harvested from four states in the U.S.: California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado (although it can be found all around the world, these are just the only places it can be found in the States). So wearing my grandmother's old and intricate turquoise pieces makes me feel not only closer to her, but closer to home.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Yesterday was a difficult day.

I was distracted. My mind was in another place.

I received bad news from Guatemala. My ministry partner with ACSI in Guatemala is Mariellyn, who is a dear friend. She notified me that one of the little boys in our sponsorship program had died of illness. She also informed me that a teacher from another one of our schools was kidnapped, with the kidnappers demanding $12,000 ransom. Heartbreaking.

It didn't matter what music I listened to, what task I tried to complete, my mind was on our Christian community in Guatemala. I couldn't stop thinking about them, and praying, and thinking, and praying.

The beautiful Spring day brought much wind. Between the often passing train and the fierce winds, my house was shaking all day. I kept thinking that something was happening in the other room. I would meander into the living room, looking around each corner. where is the dog? still outside.

My mind was empty of much else. I remember all of the sudden aware that I was cold. I looked at my feet and wondered to myself where my socks had gone - wasn't I just wearing socks?

I was losing it.

So.... I thought i would start today off with something silly and fun.....

Previously had a "Things I'm Loving Lately" following this, but the spacing and font was all wrong, i mean REALLY too-frustrating-to-read wrong. I have no clue how to fix it. I tried five times. I have other things that need to be done today, so I just deleted it.

ha. this is not helping my sanity like I was hoping it would today.

that's pretty funny.

and ironic,

i think. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Consider the lilies...

(photo by stt1119)

I've been sitting here, looking out of my window, taking in this fresh Spring morning. I'm watching two colorful little birds fluttering in this tree. They sing the prettiest songs. And I can't believe how green the grass has gotten in just the last few days with our last snow storm watering them green. And I see the birds fly over my house, soaring, relaxed, magnificent, below the cirrus clouds and otherwise blue sky.

I'm contemplating my employment situation. I have applied for about 30-40 jobs since March. My inbox is full of emails indicating that these positions are full or I am no longer being considered. And I've caught myself in a bit of fear. When I dwell on this, I find myself under a heavy burden of being the provider for our family, especially since I only have a few months left with my current job. But I know that fear and worry is fruitless when I am a child of a loving and living God.

And as I watch the carefree song and flight of the birds, and see the grass return to it's splendid green, I am reminded of one of Jesus' promises from Luke 12: 22-32:

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his spendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
Do not be afraid, little flock, for the Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom...

Friday, April 9, 2010

A beautiful week of blessing

Last night I buzzed out of the house at 9pm to the neighboring town (closest liquor store) for some champagne.

We've had a week full of beautiful blessings, culminating last night in an opportunity that Landon has been working toward and we have been praying for for several years now. God has been so generous to us, and we are so grateful!

The beautiful blessings:

our new little niece: Leland June McBrayer

Leland was born Monday night.
 She is Garrett and Crystals second daughter. 
We are so grateful for her!

Big sis, Greenlee with Leland. Is this precious or what!?

(photos courtesy of Jane Wallace, Crystal's mum)

Skiing The Canyons
Landon and I received coupons for free tickets to The Canyons at the Warren Miller film we attended back in October. The Canyons are closing this weekend so we had to scurry on over there! It was fun to ski somewhere new. We had a wonderful time!

Praise Band
(2003 an old pic of my favorite praise band ever)
Starting in just a few weeks (conveniently after Snowbasin closes for the season) I will begin to sing on my church's praise band. I am so excited and so grateful. I haven't been involved in a church in several many many years. It's a wonderful feeling to be contributing and to be connecting to other Christians (not to mention the awesome privilege to lead others in worship). 

I have started to write about this and keep deleting everything I've written. Obviously, I guess I'm just not sure what to write here. Last night Landon received the news that he will be funded through the remainder of his PhD. 

This is huge.

I know that you have followed our journey with Landon's schooling for these many years. 

When Landon was accepted to the U last year, we were ecstatic! Landon had applied to many PhD programs around the country multiple times. For some reason, God thought that it would be best for Landon to get his masters at a Christian school before moving on to a PhD program. Though I wish we didn't have to spend two extra years in school (sorry, i have a habit of saying "we" when I talk about landon's schooling...), especially in Illinois, I really have trusted God with leading us there regarding Landon's education. When Landon was accepted to the PhD program at the U last year, it blew our minds. Finally! But without the funding, it was sort of like giving us a taste of the ambrosia, but not letting us eat it. This year we have continued to live like we have been: with our moving boxes in a pile in the basement, ready to be opened up again. Not really committing to anything in the community because we wonder where we'll be next year. 

Landon's receiving funding means a lot of things for us. For one, it means that we won't have the financial burden of paying for any more tuition ever. Also, Landon will get to teach undergraduate courses, so he will get to learn a lot more about philosophy and receive the experience he will need in order to apply as a prof once he's done (glad we have 4 more years before we're waiting to pack our boxes for that opportunity!). It also means that we will be living here for 4 more years. So maybe we can make friends that we will actually get to grow with, get to know deeply, get to love for a longer amount of time. 

And I'm realizing that this is probably where we will start our family. I'm hoping that by 2014 we will have some babies around here. 

I'm so proud of Landon. This is a huge accomplishment that he has been invested into and working toward for several years. I'm so grateful for his hard work!

Now, all we need is for me to find a job out here and we'll be good to go!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

sun-kissed, snow-kissed, ski-kissed

We got 20 inches of snow on the mountain last night. Landon is there right now, enjoying the biggest powder day we've had all season!

As a novice skier, I was a bit intimidated by almost 2 feet of fresh snow! I am lousy at powder skiing. So I stayed home. I spent my morning working on Sponsorship at Starbucks, sipping a freshly brewed cup of Verona, my favorite. I know, it's almost shameful to ditch the slopes when we had the sweetest dumpage of snow all season. I'm a bit embarrassed...

Instead, I took Duvick skiing for an hour. There's no way I was going to miss out on this beautiful day! I just didn't want to be tumbling down the mountain, freezing cold, soaking wet, sore to my bones. And on Saturday I actually lost my ski in the powder after a tumble. It took Landon and I 30 minutes to find it on the mountainside. So I decided for a low-key hour of skiing instead. So Duves and I skied cross country around the lakes and the open fields in our neighborhood. 

It was wonderful. We both had a lot of fun. And I just love that I've got the freckles to show it!

Why does my neck look so weird in this picture?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Celebrating Easter

Yesterday I woke before the sunrise and was able to watch the sun creep over the Wasatch Mountains on my drive to church. Blue skies, slow-covered peaks, and absolutely no one on the roads made for a very peaceful morning.

Easter is my most favorite holiday! I think it is the most significant of all.

I was lucky enough to sing in my church choir on Easter morning, which was a lot of fun. There were five of us total, which I think is hilarious, but we had fun nonetheless. The sermon at my church was about the freedom that we have in salvation. Which I thought was an interesting take on an Easter sermon. I liked it. 
After church, Landon and I packed up our ski gear and headed down to the Cottonwood canyons beside Salt Lake City. Landon and Kevin had been on some beautiful little adventures in these canyons last weekend, and Landon wanted me to see them first hand. 
putting my skins on the bottom of my skis

skinning up the mountain

We slipped our skins on our skis and headed into the back country. The snow was deep and fresh. And because we started our ski trip late in the day, it was actually so soft that it was sticking to the bottom of our skis and making the treck with heavy skis and boots uphill even more of a challenge because we were dragging snow beneath us. 
doons skinning up the mountain

we came to a beautiful valley and we took our skis off to scrape the snow off of the skins

But the woods were beautiful. Absolutely beautiful, which made our time worth every effort. 

Landon wanted to skin all the way up this ridge so that we could have an epic ride downhill. But after a little over a mile into the mountains I was sore from the two previous powder days we've had at Snowbasin and Landon thought that we should turn around once he noticed I was seriously dragging. Ha. It's funny to me, he has been teaching me all these outdoor activities and wants so desperately for me to continue to love them so he really is sensitive to how I am enjoying my time while we're out. He imagined a world where I bring up this Easter day where our skins wouldn't glide and my legs hurt and I fell the whole way down the mountain and therefore was never planning on hitting the backcountry with him ever again. And in order to avoid this possible world, he suggested that we tear our skins off and head back down. Which we did. 

It was fun soaring through the Aspen groves. I actually fell more on our hike in than our ride out. And I smiled the entire time. 

Landon says that backcountry skiing is our new family Easter tradition. What is more appropriate in remembering our salvation in Christ than to be in the snow all day - "he washed us white as snow"?